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America’s “Crusade” in Afghanistan ends in tatters as US troops flee in the dead of night

Iqbal Jassat

Bored but frightened Afghan soldiers and a stray dog are all that are left at the sprawling Bagram Air Base as American troops fled under the cover of darkness. An inglorious end to a criminal war!

In a strange coincidence of fate, a key architect of America’s ill-fated “War on Terror” Donald Rumsfeld, died on the eve of the departure-by-stealth of US troops from Afghanistan.

Two decades of lies and fabricated propaganda accompanied by gung-ho media coverage to justify the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, have finally unravelled.

Though Rumsfeld and his cohorts of war criminals who comprised the neocons and diehard Likudniks within the Bush regime may have strutted about like peacocks, their project was doomed from the beginning.

They unleashed an unrelenting war via arsenals of mass destruction which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

It was compounded by the displacement of thousands more in addition to imposing regime change.

The American mission, far from being accomplished, has ended in disaster.

The discredited war on Afghanistan, in addition to being illegal was deceptively authorised by the United Nations.

An ill-gotten “green light” to bomb Afghanistan to smithereens in pursuit of Osama Bin Laden, falsely accused of 9/11, was obtained through calculated deceit.

And the propaganda which emanated from the White House and Pentagon generated levels of hysteria and vengeance which drove allies, led by Britain and France, to turn America’s “War on Terror” into a global frenzy.

Not only did it turn into a colossal disaster for the impoverished people of Afghanistan, it also resulted in body bags draped in the American flag for families of US troops to bury back home.

Truly an orgy of blood-letting in pursuit of a redefined American dream to impose its imperial hegemony at any cost.

So as Rumsfeld is interred, his misdirected ambitious project in collaboration with fellow war criminals from Bush to Blair, to subdue Muslims and Islam, lies in tatters.

It is no exaggeration to suggest that the “War on Terror” and language associated to rationalise America’s hostile military aggression has been experienced by Muslim victims as a War on Islam.

Since 9/11, America has wreaked havoc across Muslim lands, from Afghanistan to Iraq and Syria, while steadfastly protecting, funding and arming Israel’s genocidal policies against Palestinians.

Now that America has been unmasked—yet again—as a serial perpetrator of war crimes, it has evacuated its troops from Afghanistan, deceptively under the cover of darkness.

To conceal their inglorious fleeing, the manner in which American troops fled Bagram air base outside Kabul in the middle of the night saw them shutting off electricity at the base before slipping away.

Associated Press (AP) captured US cowardice as follows: “The US left Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield after nearly 20 years by shutting off the electricity and slipping away in the night without notifying the base’s new Afghan commander, who discovered the Americans’ departure more than two hours after they left, Afghan military officials said.”

Rumsfeld’s decaying body may not be witness to the futility of 20 years of savagery inflicted upon an entire nation, his accomplices will certainly rue the day they hatched evil plots to expand America’s military industrial complex which today lies in ruins in Bagram.

Bush, Blair and NATO’s belligerent leaders would be looking aghast at US-trained Afghan soldiers surrendering en masse to the Taliban.

Many more who expressed resentment against America for being betrayed fled to neighbouring countries seeking refuge.

The unreliability of Uncle Sam has been a bitter lesson for those who collaborated with the US army against their own.

Costly experience for having reposed misplaced faith in the army of an imperial power.

What’s left to be seen is whether the regime led by Ashraf Ghani, which was imposed by the US as its lackey, will accept the reality that the departure of American troops marks the end of its reign?

It is noteworthy to be reminded by author Nathan Lean that the so-called “War on Terror”, launched by Bush in the immediate wake of September 11, 2001, incited Islamophobia to a large degree and posited in the minds of the American political right and the general population alike the idea that Muslim-majority countries, not the least of which was Iraq, were suspicious and dangerous.

Afghanistan thus featured as the theatre to launch a “crusade” in America’s war on “Islamic fascists”.

Crude language repeatedly used to frame the war as just and necessary to eradicate “Islamist Terrorism”.

Now that the invaders have fled with their tails between their legs, it finally allows the Afghan people to rebuild their country and their broken lives without the presence of a foreign army causing mayhem and havoc.

Iqbal Jassat is Exec Member at the Media Review Network, Johannesburg, South Africa

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